Homeschooling resources have come a long way in the past five years, not only in the number of blogs available from other homeschoolers but books and curriculums have skyrocketed, giving everything, we need available from a simple online order. Yet with more items comes frustration with sifting through all the available merchandise and choosing what will work for our own families.
I’ve gathered a list of my top five favorite homeschooling books that give guidance, inspiration, and are worthy of your valuable shelf space.
Everything You Need to Know About Homeschooling: A Comprehensive, Easy-to-Use Guide for the Journey from Early Learning through Graduation (2021) by Lea Ann Garfia
This is a newbie and a worthwhile compendium. Garfia gives guidance and inspiration to newbies and long-time homeschoolers alike. She informs how to get started and how to keep going, where to find help with learning disabilities, and how to get your child graduated and ready for college.
Garcia reminds me of my favorite from Susan Wise Bauer (listed below) but without the classical mindset that Bauer concentrates on in her book. If you’re a faith-based homeschool family, you will particularly enjoy the section on “Will Homeschooling Bring My Child Closer to God” and if you’re not, well it can easily be skipped.
The Brave Learner: Finding Everyday Magic in Homeschool, Learning, and Life (2019) by Julie Bogart
Bogart has a certain Disney element to her style of teaching, and it resonates with many parents, especially those who are frustrated and overwhelmed. She helps to bring in the candles and teatime to relax and have deep conversations with your children while guiding them in their education. She offers a deep inspiration that brings homeschooling into a new realm.
If you’re burned out, then this might be a relaxing read to keep you motivated in the mid-year slump. I have read this one several times (about once a year I go through the different sections) and it helps ease my mind each time. I will say as a side note that everything, she speaks about might be a bit ambiguous for a lot of homeschoolers and take heart, not everything may work for you and your family. Her idea for a magic art table isn’t something we can all incorporate but you can put your spin on things…. for example, we have an art cart that fits in the corner of the kitchen so the kids can pull together something when the idea strikes.
There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather: A Scandinavian Mom’s Secrets for Raising Healthy, Resilient, and Confident Kids (from Friluftsliv to Hygge) (2018) (Unabridged Paperback) by Linda Akeson McGurk
This one was recommended by another homeschool mom and one I’ve lent to other moms as a valuable read. It is NOT homeschool-based, and the author speaks to every parent out there. The book follows McGurk on her trip to Sweden with her two young daughters and talks about the differences in the education method compared to the current American system. To say it’s eye-opening does not do justice to how McGurk conveys the importance of getting fresh air and exploring the world around us. I do not want to give away too much and ruin the intrigue and need for everyone to read. Just buy it and keep it (the audiobook is also available, and I would assume would be a great way to relax with that cup of tea Bogart always suggests).
Homeschoolers are not Hermits: A Practical Guide to Raising Smart, Confident, and Socially Connected Kids (2018) by Kathy Oaks
My praise for Oaks will never end and this will be one I go back to again and again, with pen and paper to take plenty of notes, probably until I have it well memorized. I have a certain level of respect for anyone who can openly speak about the political mayhem that the education system is and admit to the family struggles with different disabilities of her children.
Oaks takes the classic mindset most have about our way of life and nips it in the bud. She speaks candidly about the way her family homeschools and offers much advice for us all to ponder. While this may not be a compendium of practical guidance in the area of what to teach and how long to teach as you get in the Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer, it is something for those times when you feel yourself needing to defend your rights and ideas to those who think you’re ruining your child’s life with educating at home.
The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home (2016) by Susan Wise Bauer
Okay, okay, I am a bit biased with this one. After researching and feeling (back in the day) that I had to choose a certain method of homeschooling I gravitated affectionately to the Classical style and haven’t looked back. When we began this was one of the only available resources and Bauer delivers in every aspect with this book. She advises on every level, tells you which subjects when, how long and how much each week, and the endless resource recommendations (which are updated on welltrainedmind.com). I have found numerous things to try I wouldn’t have known about from her lists and am thankful for them time and again.
She even has a curriculum planning worksheet to download (welltrainedmind.com) to help you organize yourself for the coming year (they are separated by elementary, middle, and high school levels). I’m not even able to explain the amount of information she lists in her book, by grade, and then by subject, because it’s so vast. See if your local library has a copy so you can see exactly what I mean.
Also, I would suggest, if you’re investing in this book, to buy the hardback and not the eBook version. Only because tabbing and making notes is necessary as it is used over the years.
What is your favorite homeschool resource book? Tell us below!